When moving day finally arrives you’re going to have a lot on your plate, to say the least. It’s an event that requires a lot of organization and work, and it’s bound to cause stress, especially if you have kids and they’re at home that day. If you don’t have friends who are able to help out or a daycare or sitter to pitch in, we’ve got some great tips for making kids a productive part of the process. The goal should be to have plenty for them to do – the more options they have, the less likely it will be that they get bored.
Keep a close eye on them at all times.
With all the activity, kids could easily become interested in objects and people beyond your immediate view. Make it clear that you expect them to stay in one or two rooms and that they are not allowed to venture outside (no matter how interesting that moving truck looks!). Keep them occupiedin ways that won’t leave a mess or cause a lot of noise.
This isn’t the day to have them get out the finger paints or play high school marching band with your pots and pans. Here are a few ideas:
Load your iPad with plenty of fun apps that are brand new to them. These devices have hundreds of apps appropriate for kids, like games, art apps, music apps and even apps that help them explore their new city right from their device. Choose at least 8 (many are free) they can play with during the day.
Work on scrapbooks. For a few weeks prior to the move, collect kid-appropriate magazines. On moving day, staple several pieces of construction paper together to create a Scrapbook. Have the kids cut out pictures from the magazines of things they look forward to in the new city (restaurants, beaches, parks), dedicate a page where they can write a list of local attractions they want to visit, and one for names and phone numbers of friends they’re leaving. Have the kids use easy-to-clean glue rollers to affix the pictures to avoid any spills. Let them document the day as part of the scrapbook by giving them a half hour to use your phone to take pictures of the activity going on around them.
Give them a small role to occupy their time and feel like they’re part of the process. Seated in a secure, out-of-the-way spot near the front door, your child can be put in charge of counting boxes as they leave the house or checking to make sure each box has its final destination written on it (“Kitchen pantry”).
Create a move-related “I Spy” challenge. Make a list of 50 things the kids will likely see throughout the day and ask them check off each when they do. That list could include things like “box with ‘Kitchen’ written on it,” “a moving guy wearing brown boots,” and “a big metal ramp.” Be sure that part of the challenge is that they have to stay in one place to find each!
These same tips can also be used when you’re in the process of packing and unpacking. These, too, can be very chaotic and you’ll be glad you engaging the kids in something that keeps them from creating more stress.
We’d love to hear how each of you occupied the kids during your moving or packing process. We’ll share the best with our blog readers!